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WW2, Worlds Worst Tank

Discussion in 'Armor and Armored Fighting Vehicles' started by green slime, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Rather than try to find the best tank, which would you put forward for consideration as the "worst" tank of WW2?

    Let me start the bidding with our very own, New Zealand designed, and manufactured Bob Semple Tank

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-nSxFimoHg

    Dimensions 13.9 x 10.10 x 12 ft (4.2 x 3.30 x 3.65 m)
    Total weight, battle ready 25.4 tons Crew 8 (commander, driver, 6 gunners)
    Propulsion 6-cylinder diesel Caterpillar, 95 kW
    Suspension None Maximum
    speed 5 km/h (2 mph)
    Range 160 km (99 mi)
    Armament 6 Bren guns
    Armor 8 mm (0.31 in) + 12.7 mm (0.5 in) corrugated plates
    Total production Unknown
     
  2. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    How many gears did it have?
     
  3. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper Patron  

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    That looks like a Dalek.
     
  4. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper Patron  

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    Main production tanks- because Syria has some wicked armoured tractors.
    M551 Sheridan.
    Mostly aluminium. A lot of money went into it, never fired its' main 152mm gun in combat because it would cause havoc with the electronics. Not sure they used the Shillelagh missile in combat. But was mobile and light. There was no shield on the turret .50 gun and couldn't be fired from within the turret.
    Read it in a book.
     
  5. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    The M551 is not WW2, and most AA MGs don't have a shield, the only ones I can remember that could be fired from under armour were on the early M60 (a contemporary of the M551 which probably explains why this was noted) and on the late WW2 German vehicles, STUGs.

    For WW2, leaving aside some prototype, I would go with the Italian tanks, the M13 series was bad enough, (bolted weak armour, unreliable engine, slow speed, no cupola ....) but the prize there would go to L6, that was practically "forced" on the arm, that could find no use for a slow 20mm armed light tank in 1942, by the Fiat/Ansaldo conglomerate. if you include "prototypes" I stand by avatar, culquaber was a holt tractor "armoured" by welding together leaf springs from broken trucks.. In the allied side the Covenanter was bad enough that it was never issued for combat and only used in the UK for training.
     
  6. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    They would laughed themselves to death...or run along side of it (5kph) with a bunch of mates, and start to Rock it...come out little kiwis! Knowing my luck it'd be full of ten foot Maoris...!
     
  7. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    The A38 Valiant would have to be right down there.
    And likely TOG 1&2. Though I'm very fond of TOG2 at Bovington, it was essentially a distraction programme to keep some chaps away from the Sharp end.
     
  8. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    If it comes to protptypes i would say the German Maus tank...

    In his book Panzer Leader, Heinz Guderian wrote:

    On 1 May a wooden model of the "Maus", a tank project of Porsche and Krupp, was shown to Hitler. It was intended to mount a 150 mm gun. The total weight of the tank was supposed to reach 175 tons. It should be considered that after the design changes on Hitler's instructions the tank will weigh 200 tons. The model didn't have a single machine gun for close combat, and for this reason I had to reject it. It had the same design flaw that made the Elefant unsuitable for close combat. In the end, the tank will inevitably have to wage a close combat since it operates in cooperation with the infantry. An intense debate started, and except for me, all of the present found the "Maus" magnificent. It was promising to be exactly that, a "giant".[4]

    The lack of close combat armament was later rectified; the final version of the Maus featured a close defense mortar, a machine gun and three ports for submachine guns in the turret.
     
  9. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    good thread/idea here slime......that tank does look bad ........always enjoyable and interesting to see weapons/etc I've never seen before....
     
  10. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    An honourable interwar mention for the A7E1:

    [​IMG]

    An otherwise harmless little cruiser with a massive flaw - just left of those numbers on the glacis lies the only entry/exit hatch other than the turret. (there are clearer pics - I can't find 'em at the mo).
    Anyone for bailing out right where the opposition are likely to be? let alone the structural strangeness of having a bloody great hole in the Glacis.
     
  11. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    doesn't look to rugged/sturdy
     
  12. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    I am always a little uncomfortable with these 'best/worst' weapons discussions. Every weapon can do something, all designs are compromises between different imperatives, and no weapon is perfectly good or perfectly bad in every respect. Finally, a great deal depends on context and tactical employment. A light tank like the M3/M5 series might have been helpless against a Panther, but fighting Panthers was not part of the Stuart's proper role. You wouldn't ask a Tiger or a Stalin to do a lot of manuevering, but as heavy-gun backers up to Panthers or T34's they were formidable.

    That said, I will offer some opinions. The early British cruisers were awfully poor.
    1) A9--paper-thin armor.
    2) A10--too slow for a cruiser, not armed or armored heavily enough for an infantry tank.
    3) A13--unreliable engine, armor still too thin.
    This view is not hindsight. Bob Crisp, the South African RAC man, served in these tanks and had a very low opinion of them.

    Every nation had lots of lighty-armored light tanks armed only with MGs when the war began, and all of them quickly proved to be of marginal value. I don't criticize these designs too much, since everybody made the mistake of investing in them. The Italian L33 was more hopeless than most such, since it wasn't even a real tank--the MGs were in a fixed mount. The British Mk VI was the best armed and armored of the Vickers lights but it was too top heavy and had a poor cross country performance, a real liability in a recce tank. The KV-1 and Tiger II were a waste of manufacturing effort for too little battlefield return. The Jap tanks were a generally poor lot (thin armor, inadequate guns on most models), but they did OK against weak anti-tank defenses in Malaya.

    People love to slag certain designs. The Crusader is one of these. It was fast and manueverable and its armor and gunpower were about equal to the Panzer III when first designed, but it was stuck with an an engine and a cooling system that were both vulnerable to desert conditions. Poor manufacturing and maintenance standards didn't help. The Valentine was a poor tank ergonomically (two-man turret on most versions) and its armor was actually thinner than that of the Matilda it replaced, but it was the sturdiest and most reliable of all early war British tanks and that meant a lot. It became more useful when re-armed with better guns. The Soviets didn't praise many western weapons, but they did praise the Valentine.

    The Sherman is another common target of criticism. The Sherman's main problem was the gun. The 75mm M3 was an excellent infantry support weapon, but its AP performance was never better than fair. Unfortunately, we stuck to the 75mm gun for too long. When the Sherman finally did get better guns in 1944 (76mm, 17 Pdr, 105mm how with HEAT) it was able to remain competitive with German armor. Much criticized though it has been, the Sherman was never one of the war's worst tanks.
     
  13. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member Patron  

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    The lack of close combat armament was later rectified; the final version of the Maus featured a close defense mortar, a machine gun and three ports for submachine guns in the turret.



    This machine would have been the bridge to this monstrosity.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landkreuzer_P._1000_Ratte
     
  14. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Mr. Slime, you started this thread knowing full well no one could find a tank worst than the Bob Semple ! I concur. NO Suspension???? Did they use a malleable steel to provide a degree of comfort. At least the enemy might not realize it was a tank until too late, as it rushed forward at 2 mph . It is clearly the first stealth tank. so maybe undeserving of it's worst tank title. Ummmmmmmmm. ....No, I will stick with it.

    A question, would a 88 mm L71 AP penetrate it at 500M ???

    Good looking too !!!

    NZ produces the best sailors in the world and some of the best boats, I always pull for them in the America's cup.....................makes up for their tank designs !!!!!!!!!!!

    Gaines
     
  15. green slime

    green slime Member

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    ROFL!

    Mr Blackwell, your commentary made my evening!
     
  16. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    What about this baby, the good old T35?
     

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  17. edhunter76

    edhunter76 Member

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    Yes, that would have been some monster really. In reality that would have been probably impossible to build so that it would have worked at least some sensible level. The weight of that thing alone was supposed to be so bad that no road would have carried it... :cool:
     
  18. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    what is it? :confused:
     
  19. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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  20. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    If you want real Russian tanks you have to go a bit earlier than that. My favorite bad Russian tank is the Tsar Tank, what's not to like about a 3 wheeler whose front wheels are 9m in diameter. Talk about a fire magnate though.
     

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